Category Archives: news

Current news in OS & OT

Dr. Emily Nalder ACRM Award Recipient

Dr. Emily Nalder will be receiving the 2017 Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM).
Supported by CARF International, the award recognizes the contributions Emily has made to the field during her early career work.

Emily will present the Deborah Wilkerson Award Lecture during the ACRM 94th Annual Conference in Atlanta where she will receive her award. The conference will take place in October 2017.

More information >>

Nominate an OT Mentor

Do you know an OT who would be a great mentor for the course Building Practice through Mentorship?  Each OT mentor works with a small group of students to build reflective practice skills and support professional development throughout the two years of the Occupational Therapy program.

Mentors are experienced OTs who are exemplary role models, have strong group facilitation skills, and must be nominated by colleagues or past students. Make a nomination by emailing the course coordinators (see below) with the name and email of the proposed mentor, and a short statement of why you think they would be a great mentor.

Please contact the Mentorship Course Coordinators for more information or to make a nomination:  Lynn Cockburn  and Anne Fourt.

R. Renwick, Y. Hamdani, B. Gibson

Dr. Yani Hamdani Wins Bloorview’s “Pursuit Award”

Dr. Yani Hamdani has won a 2017 Bloorview Research Institute Pursuit Award for her doctoral dissertation: “Problematizing Transition to Adulthood for Young Disabled People.”

This prestigious award is presented following an international competition. The award acknowledges and supports “outstanding achievements in the field of childhood disability research”.

Dr. Hamdani completed her PhD studies and research in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her proud supervisor and committee members are Dr. Rebecca Renwick (OS&OT Faculty), Dr. Barbara Gibson (Dept. of Physical Therapy), and Dr. Cameron Norman (Dalla Lana School of Public Health).

Yani is also an Occupational Therapist, and a guest lecturer and member of the Professional Curriculum Committee in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

Congratulations, Yani!

Dr. Lisa Richardson

Thelma Cardwell Research Day

The keynote speaker for this year’s Thelma Cardwell Research Day is Dr. Lisa Richardson, from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Dr. Richardson’s address, “Good Medicine: Lessons from Indigenous Health Education” will draw on her expertise as co-lead in Indigenous Medical Education.
 
We are thrilled to have Dr. Richardson as our guest and eagerly anticipate her presentation on a topic of such importance.
 
The Annual OS&OT Thelma Cardwell Research Day, a presentation of our 2nd year students’ research, will be held on Wednesday June 28th at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (O.I.S.E.), 252 Bloor Street West.
 
We look forward to seeing you there!
 
More information about the 2017 Program >>
More information the Thelma Cardwell Research Day >>
 
 

Alex Mihailidis Addresses Standing Senate Committee

On March 9, 2017, Dr. Alex Mihailidis made a presentation to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. The committee has been examining the role of robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence in the health care system. Alex was representing AGE-WELL, the Network of Centres of Excellence of which he is a Scientific Director.

Alex’s presentation and his answers to questions from the committee may be read in the Senate of Canada website.

Jade and Mallory Ryan

Dance Ability Movement Helps Fulfill Kids’ Dreams

The Ryan Sisters are truly inspirational! OS&OT Alumni, they have used their occupational therapy expertise and passion for dance to develop Dance Ability Movement which provides inclusive dance programs for all children.
 
 
It is the dream of many young children to learn to dance, and children’s dance classes are immensely popular. However, children with disabilities often face barriers to participation in dance. This is why the work that the Ryan Sisters do through The Dance Ability Movement is truly inspirational. They use their passion for dance and their skills and knowledge as occupational therapists to develop safe, inclusive dance classes for children of all abilities. The Ryan sisters and The Dance Ability Movement were recently profiled by CTV Toronto.

Mallory and Jade have danced all of their lives and both shared the dream that they could combine their enthusiasm for dance with their chosen careers in occupational therapy (OT). They recognized the limited opportunities for children with different abilities to participate in dance classes in their home community so they formed Dance Ability, a dance program tailored for children of all abilities. The first class commenced in 2010 at a local studio in Milton, Ontario with a team of volunteers providing 1:1 support and assistance for a small group of children with various needs. With growing demands and recognition of their services, Mallory and Jade officially launched their own business, The Dance Ability Movement, with the goal of “sharing the opportunity to dance with dancers of all abilities on a large scale and continuing to promote inclusivity and participation in the community for people with different needs”. The program is currently active in six host studios in the Greater Toronto Area, and more studios are being considered. The Ryan Sisters have no difficulty in recruiting volunteers, many of whom are dancers themselves who wish to share their love of dance with young aspiring dancers.

Aside from providing opportunities to participate in dance classes, The Dance Ability Movement offers summer programs to address various OT goals. For example, Set the Stage Camp combines a handwriting program with music and dance to assist pre-school and primary age children to develop their school readiness and specific motor skills. Art Expressions Camp provides participants a safe space to explore dance styles as well as other art forms and means of self-expression.

Mallory and Jade are currently pursuing various goals and future initiatives including the following:

  • Supporting schools in Toronto to include Dance Ability Movement dancers in their arts nights and talent shows, plus encouraging schools to offer more movement and dance opportunities for these students as part of their curriculum.
  • Exploring the role of dance as more than just a leisure occupation, but as a potential vocation for some of the dancers with disabilities who participate in The Dance Ability Movement programs who have the talent and passion to pursue dance further.
  • Providing more programming and support systems to keep youth with different needs engaged as active members in their communities.

They also feel honored to have been recently selected as “Agents of Change for Community Health” through the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, and are currently pursuing various goals and future initiatives including the following:

  • Aligning their model with existing OT models and theories to better advocate for community leisure programs and the importance of addressing the environment and societal perspectives to meet everyone’s needs

Mallory and Jade also maintain close ties with the MScOT program at University of Toronto by participating in various labs and delivering guest lectures to educate and inspire future generations of OTs. Through The Dance Ability Movement, Mallory and Jade are making important contributions towards creating community environments where inclusion of children with varying abilities is the norm. Their programs provide opportunities to enable children to express themselves through dance and other art forms, and to realize their potential.